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Author Topic: another painful lesson learned  (Read 1979 times)


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another painful lesson learned
« on: August 18, 2004, 01:27:16 PM »

About one and one half years ago, I recorded four nights of live jazz here at a local club.  I recorded all of the shows directly to stereo, onto my trusty SV3800 DAT recorder.  The only editing or other post-production work that was performed was to cut out most of the excess time between songs and this was done when I transferred the recordings from DAT to CD.  Seventeen months later, my archive for these sessions consists of the original DAT tapes and the CD copies of the edited shows; a grand total of twelve DAT tapes and 12 CDs.  

Although I don't buy into a lot of the "audiophile" recommendations for super high quality speaker cable or $400 AC cords, I have always believed in buying good quality recording media, whether DAT tapes or CD blanks.  I've been a VERY happy user of Taiyo Yuden disks and I've purchased nothing else for several years.  But on the night that I was editing the 2nd of the four shows, I found myself out of disks.  Back then I still shared a studio with two partners and a 3rd individual, the guy we sublet from.  He was one of those guys that had two or three PCs set up downloading everything he could find; movies, music, .....anything he could get for free.  He purchased CDs in bulk and always the cheapest he could find.  And this night I made the stupid mistake of borrowing several of these no-name cheapies.

That night the discount blanks worked fine; I made my CD "masters" and probably burned one or two sets of copies for the band.  Zoom forward to the other day; I'm picking some cuts to put together a "demo reel" for a prospective client who asked to hear some of my work.  When I go to the CDs for that 2nd show, everything went to shit.  First, I started hearing random bits of distortion, sort of like what you hear when a bad tape has fouled the heads on your DAT deck.  I'd skip ahead to the next track and everything would be fine for a few seconds then more noise, followed by drop-outs.  Finally, the CD started skipping around, the first 10 seconds of a song would play, then it would jump back to the beginning of that track and start again, followed by more craziness.  Ejecting that CD and inserting another from that night let me notice that the deck was having a hard time "reading" the T.O.C. and then the same problems occurred.  Two of the three CDs from that night are completely unplayable, while the third just sounds like crap (drop outs and distortion, but the CD plays through without breaking down somehow.)

It took me several minutes to realize that these were the discount CDs, at first I didn't know what the hell was going on.  I was relieved to find that the deck was fine and that the CDs from the previous night and following nights all played without problem.  But I was amazed that 3 out of 3 cheap CDs all failed to some extent in less than two years!  Fortunately, the Sony Pro brand DAT tapes from that night still sound fine.  And I swear that I will never use cheap media again!

John Ivan

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Re: another painful lesson learned
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2004, 03:26:04 PM »

Yeah, me too;
I have had great luck with Taiyo Yuden. Other cheap shit has failed. I have also had very very good luck with Emtec DTRS products. My DA-88's had a fit with Quantagy stuff.

Oh,, and format them yourself!!

Use the best stuff you can!!
"Transformation is no easy trick: It's what art promises and usually doesn't deliver." Garrison Keillor

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